PH-Malaysia biz groups sign trade cooperation deal

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BROOKE’S Point Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BPCCI) in Palawan Province and Malaysia’s Labuan Chamber of Malay Entrepreneurs (LCME) signed an agreement recently to “establish, promote and strengthen bilateral business and trade relations between the two territories.”

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Palawan’s agricultural, livestock and marine products, particularly those that are halal-certified, will soon become available in Malaysia and other Southeast Asian markets.

“This is the fruit of our efforts to enhance trade and economic activities not only in Brooke’s Point but also within the whole province of Palawan and the Southeast Asian region,” said Jamie Jane Lee, chief financial officer of Agribio Philippines and BPCCI president.

“While BPCCI is a newly established chapter of PCCI [Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry], Brooke’s Point, which is a first-class municipality situated in the southeastern part of Palawan, has long been considered one of the economic gateways in the region,” she added.

Palawan is part of the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines-East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA), a sub-regional economic cooperation initiative formed in 1994.

Malaysian ambassador to the Philippines Dato’ Mohd Zamri Bin Mohd Kassim and LCME chairman Dato’ Sri Haji Mohamad Alias Abdul Rahman are optimistic that trade volume between Malaysia and the Philippines will increase significantly with the “formal collaboration of Labuan and Brooke’s Point.”

Malaysia was the fifth largest trading partner of the Philippines within the Asean region last year, according to the Embassy of Malaysia Trade Office.

Malaysia’s total exports to the country last year amounted to $3.69 billion, an increase of 24.4 percent from $2.96 billion in 2013. Its imports, meanwhile, rose by 4.8 percent last year to $1.58 billion from $1.51 billion in 2013.

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